Best King Gizzard Albums: Reviews of the Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard the Lizard Wizard at Scala

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, a band whose name definitely does not roll off the tongue, has proven to be one of the most interesting, diverse and creative rock bands of the 2000s. With a whopping 25 albums over the past 11 years, they may also be the hardest working bands as well! They were our top pick earlier this year in our review of the best new rock bands of the last 10 years. With so much intriguing material being put out by them (albeit some better than others), it can actually be quite difficult to muscle through all of their music, especially if you're new to the band. So we've done the dirty work for you and compiled a list of the best King Gizzard albums. They are organized by release date with the most recent albums first, and each with a review and grade (5/5 being best, 1/5 being worst), to help provide you with an idea of where to start listening. So, if you're a fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, or a rock fan interested in finding new, experimental material, you'll definitely want to dig into this list!

The Silver Cord (2023)

Grade: 3.5/5

The Silver Cord signifies King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's bold foray into electronic music, echoing pioneers like Kraftwerk. The album delivers an intergalactic experience, blending 80s synths with electronic drums and maintaining the band’s rock roots. It features seven tracks, each offering an extended version, unfolding like a kaleidoscope. Songs like “Theia” and “The Silver Cord” create a cosmic journey, with ambient, eerie vibes and an exploration of space and mythology. Tracks like “Set” and “Swan Song” merge 90s hip-hop with psychedelic elements, showcasing the band's versatility. The closing track, “Extinction,” concludes the album with an apocalyptic theme. "The Silver Cord" may deviate from the band's usual style but stands among the best King Gizzard albums for its innovative approach and exploration of human mortality, ideal for fans seeking a fresh, otherworldly experience.

PetroDragonic Apocalypse (2023)

Grade: 4.5/5

This album marks a striking return to metal for the band, characterized by its intense and complex compositions. Tracks like “Motor Spirit” and “Witchcraft” display intricate rhythmic phrasing and polymeter, pushing the limits of the band's previous heavy work. The guitar work by Stu Mackenzie, Ambrose Kenny-Smith, and Joey Walker is particularly noteworthy, creating a vivid end-of-the-world atmosphere. Drummer Michael Cavanagh delivers a standout performance, making "PetroDragonic Apocalypse" a landmark in the band's extensive catalog.

Changes (2022)

Grade: 4/5

Changes is a unique entry in King Gizzard’s discography, featuring a blend of 70s R&B, psychedelic pop, and prog-rock. The album is built around a single chord progression, with each track being a variation of the theme. The opening 13-minute track "Change" sets the tone, touching on '60s pop and prog-rock, with other tracks like "Hate Dancin'" and "Astroturf" evolving from its progressions. The album’s concept of building each song from a section of "Change" creates a cohesive and intricate structure. The tracks are simpler than most of the best King Gizzard albums, with each sound and part is meticulously thought out, contributing to the album’s replayability. "Changes" may not be immediately appealing but reveals its depth upon multiple listens, showcasing the band’s continuous innovation and willingness to experiment.

Laminated Denim (2022)

Grade: 3.5/5

As a sequel to "Made in Timeland," "Laminated Denim" features two 15-minute tracks with a psychedelic and progressive rock sound. The album diverges from the electronic-based "Timeland," opting for more rock-focused instrumentals. The tracks evolve with layers of guitars and keyboards under Stu Mackenzie's falsetto, creating a rich, exploratory soundscape. The album's concept revolves around a clock ticking, with polyrhythms and a Motorik beat driving the music.

Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava (2022)

Grade: 4/5

This album stands out from the best King Gizzard albums, as one of the most collaborative works by the band. Recorded over a week with improvisations in different musical keys and tempos, it eschews pre-planned riffs and melodies for spontaneous creation. Described as ambitious and absorbing, the album merges various elements from the band's past works, creating a kaleidoscopic mix that feels like a new direction in their discography.

Omnium Gatherum (2022)

Grade: 4/5

A remarkable addition to King Gizzard's discography, showcasing their ability to traverse a wide spectrum of musical styles. This album, filled with a rich array of textures and sounds, stands as a testament to the band's versatility. The record opens with a blend of frenetic rhythms and psychedelic melodies, immediately setting the tone for an eclectic auditory journey. Tracks vary in their intensity and mood, with some delving into deeply introspective territory while others explode with the band's signature high-energy rock. The album's production quality is notable, balancing intricate layering of instruments with clarity, allowing each element to shine. Lyrically, the album explores themes ranging from existential ponderings to more grounded, narrative-driven stories. The seamless transitions between tracks create a cohesive, almost cinematic experience. As a whole, "Omnium Gatherum" is a bold experiment in genre blending, combining elements of psych-rock, prog, and even elements of jazz and folk, culminating in an album that is both unpredictable and thoroughly engaging.

Made in Timeland (2022)

Grade: 2/5

Made in Timeland represents an intriguing chapter in King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s evolving musical saga. This album, known for its experimental nature, takes listeners on a temporal journey, playing with concepts of time and rhythm. The compositions are layered and complex, featuring a blend of electronic and acoustic elements. The use of unconventional time signatures and rhythms lends a unique character to each track, making the album a standout in terms of creativity and innovation. The soundscapes are immersive, often creating a hypnotic effect that draws listeners into a different dimension. The band's ability to combine such diverse elements into a harmonious whole is on full display here. Lyrically, the album delves into philosophical and introspective themes, adding depth to the already rich musical tapestry. While there are more accessible works in the best King Gizzard albums than "Made in Timeland", it's still a rewarding listen for those who appreciate the band's willingness to push boundaries and experiment with new sounds.

Butterfly 3000 (2021)

Grade: 4/5

Butterfly 3000 is a departure from the band's typical work heard in the best King Gizzard albums, focusing on melodic and psychedelic elements. Recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, it stems from instrumental interludes initially intended for "Chunky Shrapnel." The album's creation was influenced by frontman Stu Mackenzie's personal life, lending an introspective quality to the music. The album is characterized by its use of modular synth loops and dream pop influences, with each track seamlessly flowing into the next.

L.W. (2021)

Grade: 3.5/5

L.W. subtitled "Explorations into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 3," presents a vibrant continuation of the band's foray into microtonal music. This album serves as a companion piece to "K.G.," offering a rich tapestry of psychedelic rock blended with Eastern sounds. The opening track, "If Not Now, Then When?," sets a psychedelic funk tone that is carried through to "O.N.E." and "Supreme Ascendancy." "Ataraxia" introduces a darker, Sabbath-meets-T-Rex vibe, followed by "See Me," which delves into experimental psychedelia. "Static Electricity" explores motorik acid folk, and the album concludes with the sludge metal mantra of "K.G.L.W.," also described as heavy psych. "L.W." was well-received by critics, praised for its exploration of diverse psychedelic genres and incorporation of unique sounds. The album, with its adventurous and varied tracks, showcases the band's ever-evolving sound.

K.G. (2020)

Grade: 3.5/5

K.G., also with a subtitle "Explorations into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 2," is a sonic sequel to "Flying Microtonal Banana" and a precursor to "L.W." This album is an adventurous exploration of microtonal tuning, characterized by its unique blending of Eastern musical influences with the band's established psychedelic rock sound. Released with four singles including "Honey," "Some of Us," and "Straws in the Wind," "K.G." continues the exploration of microtonal music, adding a fresh dimension to the band's discography. The album was well-received, with critics noting its experimental nature and its place within the band's broader musical journey. "K.G." is a testament to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's relentless innovation, offering a listening experience that is both familiar and refreshingly new.

Infest the Rats' Nest (2019)

Grade: 4/5

King Gizzard goes heavy with this one, even into thrash metal, a style they had only briefly touched upon in their previous work. The album's thematic focus is on environmental issues like climate change and ecological disaster, presented through a narrative of space colonization. Composed and recorded primarily by three members of the band, the album showcases a fusion of heavy metal with the band's signature garage rock and psychedelic sounds. Influences of thrash and doom metal are evident throughout the album, with "Planet B" being a standout track. Critics praised "Infest the Rats' Nest" for its timely political themes and compelling musicality, though some noted it lacked the unpredictability and melodic intricacy common in the best King Gizzard albums. The album stands out as a significant and single-minded statement in the band's discography.

Fishing for Fishies (2019)

Grade: 3.5/5

Fishing for Fishies attempts a playful exploration of blues, boogie, and a touch of environmental consciousness. Frontman Stu Mackenzie initially envisioned the album as a straightforward blues record, but the project evolved, reflecting the band's tendency to let their songs develop their own distinct character. Tracks like "Boogieman Sam" exhibit a lively, rhythm-driven sound that's both catchy and reflective. The album's title track sets a whimsical tone, blending the band's psychedelic rock foundation with a more accessible, groove-oriented approach. While some critics found the album's focus on 'boogie oogie oogie' a bit lighthearted for the band's usual depth, it was still lauded for its accessibility, making it one of the band's most immediate and approachable works. "Fishing for Fishies" represents King Gizzard's ability to experiment with genres while maintaining their unique sound, creating an album that's both fun and thought-provoking.

Gumboot Soup (2017)

Grade: 3.5/5

A diverse and dynamic album, encapsulating the essence of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s eclectic style. The album traverses multiple genres, from heavy psychedelia to softer, more melodic tracks. Each song stands as a unique entity, yet the album maintains a cohesive flow, a testament to the band's songwriting prowess. The opening tracks set a high-energy tone, featuring driving rhythms and intricate guitar work. Mid-album, the mood shifts to more introspective and experimental compositions, showcasing the band's range and depth. The production of the album is top-notch, with each instrument and vocal line given space to breathe, creating a rich, immersive listening experience. The lyrics are thought-provoking, often exploring themes of existence, nature, and human experience. The album's closing tracks bring a satisfying conclusion, blending the energy of the opening with the introspection of the middle, encapsulating the album's diverse range. "Gumboot Soup" is a standout album among the best King Gizzard albums, demonstrating their ability to explore and excel across a wide range of musical styles.

Polygondwanaland (2017)

Grade: 4.5/5

Polygondwanaland is another high point in King Gizzard's prolific output, known for its complex compositions and progressive rock influences. The album is an odyssey through various soundscapes, starting with the epic "Crumbling Castle," which sets the tone with its intricate rhythms and expansive structure. Tracks like "The Castle in the Air" and "Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet" showcase the band's skill in creating mesmerizing, otherworldly music. The album's production is polished, highlighting the band's tight musicianship and the detailed layering of sounds. "Polygondwanaland" stands out for its cohesiveness and conceptual depth, making it one of the band's most ambitious and critically acclaimed among the best King Gizzard albums.

Sketches of Brunswick East (2017)

Grade: 4/5

This album is a collaboration with Mild High Club, and a foray into jazz-infused psychedelic rock. The album is a departure from the heavier sounds in the best King Gizzard albums, featuring a more laid-back, groove-oriented approach. Tracks like "Countdown" and "Dusk to Dawn on Lygon Street" showcase the band's ability to blend mellow jazz chords with their signature psychedelic style. The use of flute, piano, and mellotron adds a dreamy, vintage quality to the music. The album's production is crisp and clean, allowing the intricate arrangements and subtle nuances of each instrument to shine through. "Sketches of Brunswick East" is a testament to King Gizzard's versatility and their ability to successfully merge genres to create something fresh and unique.

Murder of the Universe (2017)

Grade: 4/5

Murder of the Universe is a concept album divided into three distinct chapters, each telling a different story. The album is a return to the heavier sound of the band's earlier work, filled with intense, driving rhythms and a dark, apocalyptic atmosphere. The first chapter, "The Tale of the Altered Beast," is a narrative about transformation and chaos, while the second, "The Lord of Lightning vs. Balrog," features some of the band's most dynamic and explosive music. The final chapter, "Han-Tyumi and the Murder of the Universe," is a surreal tale of a cyborg's desire to feel human emotions. The album's spoken-word sections, delivered in a dramatic and foreboding tone, add to the epic and cinematic feel. The production is dense and layered, creating an immersive listening experience. "Murder of the Universe" is a bold and ambitious album that showcases King Gizzard's storytelling abilities and their talent for crafting complex, thematic music.

Flying Microtonal Banana (2017)

Grade: 4.5/5

A fan-favorite, marking a significant shift in King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's sound, as they experimented with microtonal tuning and Eastern musical influences. The title track introduces the album's exotic and hypnotic feel, with the use of microtonal instruments lending a unique sonic texture. Tracks like "Rattlesnake" and "Sleep Drifter" are mesmerizing, featuring repetitive motifs and trance-inducing rhythms. The exploration of microtonality allows the band to create a sound that is simultaneously familiar and alien. The album’s production balances the raw energy of the band's performances with the intricacy of the microtonal melodies. "Flying Microtonal Banana" is a testament to King Gizzard's adventurous spirit and willingness to explore new musical territories, making it a standout best King Gizzard album, that pushed the boundaries of psychedelic rock.

Nonagon Infinity (2016)

Grade: 5/5

Nonagon Infinity is a groundbreaking album, and another fan-favorite, known for its infinite looping of songs that seamlessly flow back to back, with the final track looping back to the beginning. The ultimate never ending story!

The album bursts open with "Robot Stop," a high-octane track that sets the relentless pace. The energy hardly dips throughout, with songs like "Gamma Knife" and "People-Vultures" featuring frenetic rhythms and explosive guitar work. The band’s experimentation with tempo and time signatures creates a sense of perpetual motion, making the album an exhilarating listen from start to finish. The production is polished yet retains a raw edge, perfectly suiting the album's concept. "Nonagon Infinity" is not just a collection of songs; it's a singular, continuous piece of music that showcases the band's creativity and technical prowess. This album is a favorite among fans and a perfect introduction to the band's more high-energy, psychedelic rock side.

Paper Mache Dream Balloon (2015)

Grade: 4/5

The band took a departure from the heavier, psychedelic rock sound of their previous King Gizzard albums, offering a collection of acoustic and folk-influenced tracks. The title track, "Paper Mâché Dream Balloon," sets a whimsical and airy tone, with the use of flute and acoustic guitar creating a pastoral feel. Songs like "Trapdoor" and "The Bitter Boogie" showcase the band's ability to craft catchy, folk-pop tunes with a slightly psychedelic twist. The album's production is warm and organic, emphasizing the acoustic instrumentation and vocal harmonies. Lyrically, the album explores themes of nature, dreams, and escapism, adding a layer of depth to the light and breezy music. "Paper Mâché Dream Balloon" is a testament to King Gizzard's versatility and willingness to explore different musical territories, making it a unique and refreshing entry in their discography.

Quarters! (2015)

Grade: 3/5

Quarters! is an experimental and conceptually unique album from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, consisting of four tracks, each exactly 10 minutes and 10 seconds long. This constraint provides a fascinating framework for the band's explorations. The album opens with the groovy and hypnotic "The River," which sets a laid-back, jazzy tone. The following tracks, "Infinite Rise," "God Is in the Rhythm," and "Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer," each offer a different facet of the band's sound, from psychedelic folk to dreamy, spaced-out rock. The album's production is clean and allows each instrument's nuances to be heard clearly. "Quarters!" is an example of King Gizzard's creative ambition, successfully balancing a strict conceptual framework with their trademark psychedelic sound.

I'm in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)

Grade: 4.5/5

I'm in Your Mind Fuzz is one of the most pivotal best King Gizzard albums, showcasing a more focused and cohesive sound. The opening suite of "I'm in Your Mind," "I'm Not in Your Mind," "Cellophane," and "I'm in Your Mind Fuzz" forms a relentless, mind-bending journey into psychedelic rock. The album blends frenetic garage rock with elements of psych, creating a captivating and immersive listening experience. Tracks like "Slow Jam 1" and "Her and I (Slow Jam 2)" showcase the band's ability to balance high-energy rock with more melodic, laid-back compositions. The album's production is tight, allowing the band's musicianship and intricate arrangements to shine. "I'm in Your Mind Fuzz" represents a significant moment in the band's evolution, cementing their status as one of the most exciting and innovative bands over the past 10 years.

Oddments (2014)

Grade: 3.5/5

A collection of eclectic and quirky tracks that embody King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's experimental nature. The album feels like a patchwork of ideas, each song distinct in style and mood. Tracks like "Work This Time" reveal a softer, more introspective side of the band, while "Hot Wax" and "Alluda Majaka" display their ability to craft catchy, psych-rock tunes. The album's lo-fi production adds to its charm, giving it a homemade, spontaneous feel. "Oddments" is notable for its diversity, showcasing the band's wide range of influences and their willingness to experiment with different sounds and genres. This album might not have the cohesiveness of their later works, but it's a testament to their creative freedom and exploratory spirit.

Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)

Grade: 3/5

Float Along – Fill Your Lungs marks a significant evolution in King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's sound, introducing a more psychedelic and expansive approach. The album opens with the lengthy, hypnotic "Head On/Pill," which sets a dreamy and immersive tone. Tracks like "I Am Not a Man Unless I Have a Woman" and "Mystery Jack" showcase the band's ability to create catchy, psych-pop tunes. The album's production was a step up from their debut, offering a richer, more layered sound. The use of sitar and other non-traditional rock instruments adds to the psychedelic feel. This album solidifies King Gizzard's reputation as a band unafraid to explore and push the boundaries of their music, making it a significant and beloved entry into the the best King Gizzard albums.

Eyes Like the Sky (2013)

Grade: 2.5/5

A unique entry in King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's catalog, often described as a "spaghetti western audiobook." This concept album narrates a wild west story, with spoken word interludes set against a backdrop of psychedelic and cinematic music. The album stands out for its ambitious storytelling and atmospheric soundscapes. The title track, "Eyes Like the Sky," and "Year of Our Lord" showcase the band's ability to blend narrative and music effectively. The instrumentation is evocative, painting vivid scenes that match the storytelling. This album is a testament to the band's creativity and willingness to experiment with different formats and genres, making it a fascinating listen for fans of both psychedelic rock and conceptual art pieces.

12 Bar Bruise (2012)

Grade: 3/5

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's debut album burst onto the scene with raw energy and a garage-rock ethos. This album is where the band's adventurous journey begins, showcasing their initial sound that's gritty, unpolished, and full of youthful exuberance. The title track sets the tone with its raucous blend of surf rock and garage, while "Elbow" and "Muckraker" display the band's knack for catchy, high-octane tunes. The production is intentionally lo-fi, adding a layer of authenticity and rough charm to the songs. This album is significant for establishing many of the themes and sounds that the band would explore in more depth in their later work. "12 Bar Bruise" is an exciting introduction to King Gizzard's vast discography, offering a glimpse into their early sound and raw potential.

Agree or Disagree?

Most fans seem to be in agreement that Nonagon Infinity is one of the best King Gizzard albums. But from there it gets extremely subjective. With so many various styles performed over 25 albums (not to mention multiple EPs), coming to agreement is near impossible. So drop us a comment below and let us know what you think. Which albums would have put higher or lower? And if you're a fan of new rock, make sure to check out our reviews of other best new rock bands of the last 10 years.

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